We Interview Shahjahan Jewel Founder & CEO of WPManageNinja The Team Behind WPFluentForms & FluentCRM
Shahjahan Jewel is a talented software engineer with a strong academic background and 6 years of professional experience. Shahjahan Jewel is now a Certified Scrum Master and plays the scrum master role of Technext Limited. Ability to think through a problem coupled with the confidence to make ideas heard. He possesses a proven track record of software delivery through all phases of development and can effectively articulate technical challenges and solutions
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Jonathan Denwood: Welcome back folks to the WP-Tonic Show. This is episode 587. Steven, my normal co-host couldn’t manage it this week, but I’ve got my friend, John Locke stepping in as my cohost. Thank you, John. And we got a really fantastic guest I’ve been really looking forward to this interview. We’ve got Shahjahan Jewel CEO, founder of Wmanage Ninja. They are the people behind, fluent forms and fluent CRM. So Shahjahan can you give us a quick intro about you give us like a 20 intro and then we go into the main part of the interview?
Shahjahan Jewel: Yeah, sure. Thank you. I’m really excited to be here. I am, Shahjahan Jewel I started Word Press back in 2010 so when I was in [Inaudible 01:16] city, and from that time, I fall in love with Word Press. So I did lots of Word Press work for different, you know, banks, organizations. So that was like 2016, 17 so I did lots of high-profile work. So I ran an agency Word press agency, and then I felt like, that maybe I can, you know, build good quality Word Press plugins for mainly small to medium-sized businesses. So that is the category that Word Press does not have lots of, you know, solutions. So maybe I can add [Inaudible 01:58] to that in this. So in 2018, I started my you know, plugin business, that’s Wmanage ninja. That was planned before, you know, three or four years. So it was a very planned project actually. And then first we launch, I think, ninja tables and then fluent forms. And last year we released, fluent CRM and so far, it’s really great doing great. And we have, currently on 150 K plus, websites, that, are using our products.
Jonathan Denwood: Oh, that’s great. So, yeah, that’d be great. And I’m going to let my cohost introduce himself, John, would you like to introduce yourself.
John Locke: Yeah John from lockdown SEO.
Jonathan Denwood: And before we go into the other part, the interview folks, I just want to quickly tell you about our main sponsor and that is Castos. Now, Castos basically help you get your podcast started either for yourself or for a client, and in 2021, it’s a great way of promoting yourself or your business by starting a podcast. I’m a firm believer in podcasting I’ve been doing it for over five years now. I produce three shows a week and they approached me I wasn’t totally happy with my present, podcast host that they’re the people that provides, the hosting, and the RSS feed to your podcast. And, I wasn’t totally happy with the company that I was using, and their interface and their pricing and the support they provide are truly fantastic.
If you’ve been a listener of the show, you know that I like companies that I really believe in as my major sponsors and I’ve just been blown away with their service. So if you’re thinking of getting into podcasting or you’ve been asked to set up a platform for podcasting by one of your clients, have a look at Castos because you’re not going to be disappointed. So let’s go into the main part of the interview. So I don’t know it always seemed that you exploded on the market, but obviously, you’ve been on the market much longer with, and you’ve really with fluent forms, that is a very competitive market. And with fluent CRM, I would just imagine the technical challenges, not such a crowded market, but technically extremely difficult to pull off. So let’s start off with fluent forms what made you believe that you could build such a successful plugin, in what looks to be a very competitive sector? Doesn’t it Jewel?
Shahjahan Jewel: Yes. So I think, you know, form market is I think the most competitive market in Word Press and it has, you know, the great solution already. So like say [inaudible05:50] even contact form seven. So there are [Inaudible 05:54] Word Press form plugin out there. And when we started looking for our next product we are going to build, then we thought that, okay, this is the most competitive market, but, here are all the, you know, solutions out there, those started building, like five, seven years ago. Like say garbage pumps I think they started building that in 2008 and they did not actually improve that very much out there from there. And, if you want to build a good form for [Inaudible 06:34] you have to know install tons of you know, add-ons 3rd party add-ons, and those types of things.
And also, in the free market there does not have, you know, much choice maybe you can use, you know, [Inaudible06:51] 7, but that is very, very basic. You have to write some code to build that thing. So when we thought that, maybe we can add [Inaudible 07:02] to this market because, you know, every site requires a form, and if we can build a good, solution, definitely it will work. So then we started our RND. So we did something like six months RND and see where we can actually add [Inaudible 07:24] then we, you know, build that. And when you’re building that, then, you know, our target was, like make it, you know, super-fast for the websites. And, I can tell you now that fluent form is a leg up, all the form builder plugins fluent form is the fastest form builder plugins.
And so far, you know, users are super happy. And the only thing, I would like to add actually that, you know, the big companies, they don’t care about the user they don’t care about the community, but here we do it differently. We always talk with our community and like, I can say that last year whatever features we added into the plugins, it came directly from our customers, our community, our users. So we have a super active Facebook group, a community, and they actually suggest to us what needs to be done, how we can improve it. And based on that, we do our internal RND and, ship the features. So, you know, we are very fast with the development [Inaudible09:58]. So I mean, our company, mostly, you know, development of, you know, development-focused company, user-focused company. So that is one advantage I think that we be in the market and that’s why, you know, people love our yeah. They recommend it to others.
Jonathan Denwood: Well, you certainly have done a fantastic job, of placing fluent forms, over to you, John.
John Locke: Right. So you mentioned that you know, your company has been around for about five years. How did you initially, get the idea to start developing a plug-in company and how has your growth accelerated since that point?
Shahjahan Jewel: Okay. So, you know, I started Word Press development back in 2010, I think. Yeah. I started me, you know, programming, I think 2008 and then from 2010, I started Word Press. So I did website’s solution, mainly solutions to different, you know, nonprofit organizations, banks, and, many small businesses. So I had a very good understanding of what customers want how Word Press works how it should work. And from that experience, it helped me when I started this company in. So this is my second company actually, Wmanage Ninja. So I started this in 2016, then my target was actually to, provide these solutions plugins mainly. And, then we started building the, you know, plugin. So my, previous, you know, six-year experience that actually helped a lot. And, you know, our business model is something like that, you know, give a good [inaudible12:04 ]. And from that user will actually like it, they will actually come [Inaudible 12:07] the production.
So, our whole business model is like a freemium model. And I think that is, really working. And another one is actually we, I can say that we don’t, you know, an expense we don’t have any, you know, marketing expense, like paid marketing expense like ads, those types of things, because we are really a very community-focused company. So our users actually, our customers actually advertise to their community. And I think that is really working really great. And that is our, main, you know, powerful marketing, point, for our products. So I can [Inaudible 12:49] when we actually launch our fluent CRM so that was like our biggest launch And within, like 1 month, we got like a few thousand active installations for fluent CRM because we had a very engaged community and they actually, recommend our product, to other, other users, other communities.
John Locke: Oh, that’s awesome. When you were developing fluent forms, a lot of the other products in the Word Press space, had a business model of using ad-on as a revenue source, but you just have a flat price. Was that a conscious decision or did you see a weakness in these other form plugins?
Shahjahan Jewel: Yeah, I think, you know, this is a very interesting topic actually, and also it was a really good market for me, weakness to other companies like this is crazy, you know, that you want a form and you have to install tons of add-ons. And, like say Gravity forms has like 50 plus add-ons. W forms also have 35, all the other companies have those things. That is, you know, crazy that now from the company side that I have to manage, you know, lots of plugins from the user side, it’s a pain to manage all those plugins. And also the pricing is also crazy that there is like elite, normal, agency those types of things. So that was one thing that, okay, I thought that, okay, this should not be this complex. You just need a form, for your website or you need integration, you have to install tons of plugins. So that’s not good.
So what we did actually, we made this flat pricing that is just a pro you will just you know, buy the pro and you will just download on the pro plugin and all the feature will be there. So the pricing will be simple. Your life will be simple. So that was the motivation that I should actually, as in a product company the aim of the product should be, you know, make the customer’s life easier, not complex. So, you know, maybe, you know, we could make more money if we go to like, you know, add-on type business, different type of, you know, pricing plans. But I think it made our customer’s life easier, as well as, you know make our life also easier that we don’t have the manage tons of 40 plus add-ons. We just manage only one [Inaudible 15:39] so yeah, that was our motivation that maybe we can add [Inaudible 15:45] to the segment too.
John Locke: Got to agree a hundred percent, keeping it simple is, you know, you look at these other plugins they are super complex.
Jonathan Denwood: I think it’s time for us to go for a break, we’re going for a break. We’ll be back with Jewel the founder CEO of Wmanage Ninja the people behind fluent forms and fluent CRM. We’ll be back in a few moments.
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Jonathan Denwood: We’re coming back. It’s been really great to hear I feel one of the most innovative, companies that is in the market for quite a while, actually. But before we go into the second half of this great interview, I just want to mention, another great sponsor and that’s Convesco. What are they? What do they offer? Well, they really offer premier Word Press hosting up to enterprise-level, one of the newer players in the market, but with a great team. Their CEO came on the show a few weeks ago and they showed me the back end of what they’re providing. It’s a really slick, really customizable hosting solution that’s really dedicated for enterprise-level hosting and for agency level. So if you are a small to medium size agency, you really do need to do yourself a favor and go and have a look at what they’ve got to offer like I said I was extremely impressed.
So back into the interview, let’s talk about fluent CRM. I really think I’ve been so impressed with what, you know, I actually, I opened my own wallet and bought I’ve spent quite a bit of my own money with you. And, I’ve been delving into fluent CRM as much as I can with all my other, tasks. And, you just seem to be gaining strength on strength with fluid CRM. What was the decision-making about that? Because I would imagine technically, would I be correct in saying technically it’s on a different level to all the other plugins that you have successfully launched let’s start, there would I be correct about that?
Shahjahan Jewel: Yes.
Jonathan Denwood: And what were some of the challenges that you faced around that Jewel?
Shahjahan Jewel: Yeah, it was the most challenging project. I think it still is it, it is, so basically, you know, fluent CRM, the idea of fluent CRM, actually it came it was not like we will build you know, [Inaudible 20:45] fluent CRM at the, you know, past, so basically, actually we built this to solve our problems. So, you know, we have a very small shop. We sell our own products and then, email marketing is very important for us. Also, you know, send emails to our customer’s specific segment, by product toys. So, you know, there is no solution in Word Press. I would say that if you see the solution, you know, like that, you know, I can send, emails from my Word Press.So at first, we tried, you know, the mail team, then I think we’ll try, the, you know, active campaign. Our problem was actually that all our customers that are using our Word Press website. And then I had to, you know, manage my contact, to my email marketing, to another platform I have to log in there and do that. And I don’t have a clear vision of my contact, like, say, I need to know about you. Then I have to firsts I have to go to this, active campaign or mail team. Then I have to see what information I have there and then get back to my Word Press site and see which products you bought things you what things you did on our website or what customer support ticket you actually, submitted.
So first we were just building a very tiny solution to send the emails, to our customers when we release a new update of the product, then we added a new feature so that we can do that. So like I can search for a contact and see the 360 view of the contact. I can see, you know, your support ticket when you registered when you bought a product, your lifetime hallow, those type of things because all the data is actually in Word Press. And I can actually pull it from the database and show that in the interface. So then we thought that, okay, this is really helping us, to, you know, know all customers to analyze our customers and send them targeted emails. So then we started thinking about if we can make it’s a product.
So with that, and if you use fluent CRM you’ll see how fast it is, and we use the rest API. And also we made sure that it will not, affective your Word Press website, it should not slow down your sites. So we made sure that by, you know, adding the custom database. So we had to do lots of, you know, authored engineering, for these, and successfully we could build that. And, I can say that. So it’s like, you know, technically, in a technology standpoint we’ve made a framework for this, especially, you know, this product. So that took us like six, seven months. And our CTO actually, you know, dedicated to working on this and made sure, okay, this is, it should be high-performance. And, then we could, you know, pull it off.
And before it go to, you know, the market we had, like two months, you know, beta testing. So we recruited some beta tester from our existing customer base. It was like active campaign managing those types of services. And we gave them [Inaudible25:29] that, okay, give it a try and let us know, first probably we are fixing and we’ll work on that. So that also likes, you know, two months, the period is[Inaudible25:39] that we, you know, optimize the plugin. And finally, when, you know, our beta testers were happy, then we actually released that, we still, are developing it very actively, and, currently, you know, six thousand, you know, active, businesses using it. And we are getting lots of customers who are using, like SAS services, like active campaign or mail team. And I think it’s complete, I can say that very stable, and it can actually now send millions of millions of emails.
So one of our customers, last month, they completed 3 million, emails, they could send. And then he actually posted in our Facebook group that if send that with another, you know, services, his cost was like $2,000, and, now using fluent CRM, his cost is like, say like $50 or something. So that was actually, you know, really crazy. And we’re really excited about, you know, Fluent CRM. And, you can see that lots of people are using it. Lots of YouTubers are also making videos. They’re also, you know, using it, for their businesses.
Jonathan Denwood: I’m really excited. I want to point out listeners and viewers, that you probably really do need, even though they’ve done great work in optimizing this great plugin. If you are going to use something like fluent CRM, you really do need to look at your hosting provider. I would suggest because, with the right hosting provider, it’s going to work flawlessly, where if you got a wrong one more, it might be a little more painful over to you, John.
John Locke: I noticed that you have multiple integrations with fluent CRM with, existing Word Press plugins and suites. Now, when it comes to building out these integrations, is that something that is pretty easy to establish or do you have communication with the development teams over at those plugins as well?
Shahjahan Jewel: Okay. So as I already mentioned, we did like a six-month RND before we started coding this project. So our framework that we have built, actually that is really easy. And I think, you know, the coming months, we will have that your developer documentation. So when we need to actually add a new integration, I think we have like 15 plus integrations and all into the, you know, the pro package. And, if you download the pro package you will see that it’s less than one megabyte. So it’s very lightweight. So we did actually that, you know, our framework we made it very easy to add the integration. So when we add the integration, so most of the time the integrations, we actually, you know, browse the ports of the plugins and then, kind of their actions and match that with our plugins.
And for some cases, we had, you know, contact with the developers and they really helped us to do that. They assigned their developers, depends on cases. And then, they actually give us the options that, okay, you have to get this way. So we did that. I can say that this is very efficient so like we have all the, you know, LMS plugins integrations, all the membership plugins integrations, Word press builder integration those type of things and how we actually build it that if say, you are using lifter LMS. So if you don’t use lifter LMS those [inaudible29:49]will never actually run If you have Lifter LMS installed, then you can actually see the options of lifter LMS. So we made it very simple for our customers too. So it doesn’t happen [Inaudible 30:01]plugin so it just happens to [Inaudible30:03] and that’s it, you will get all the integrations easily. So I can say that it’s like, it took us pretty, you know, a long time to, you know, build a system, but now we can easily integrate a new integration. you know, it’s like saying if we had to integrate a new, a new plugin, another plugin in Word Press just take us like three or four hours maximum. So that is fantastic for us
John Locke: Amazing Jonathan.
Jonathan Denwood: Yeah. I think we are going to come to the end of the podcast, the show, are you up for spending another 15 minutes with us Jewel?
Shahjahan Jewel: Yeah definitely.
Jonathan Denwood: we do that on YouTube and we call it our bonus content. Jewel so Jewel is going to stay with us. We’re going to continue this discussion. You’ll be able to see the whole interview on the WP tonic, YouTube channel. Please go there and subscribe. It’s got a lot of extra material that you won’t hear or see on the podcast. before I wrap it up, I also wanted to tell you about a webinar, that we’re going to be doing on the second Friday of May, at 10:30 Pacific standard time with Spencer Forum it’s going to be talking about fluent CRM and how to integrate it with Spencer’s own product launch flows and how by using these two great plugins and a couple of other ones, you can build funnels of quality and functionality, much better than click funnels or some of the other SAS competitors out there.
It’s going to be a fantastic learning webinar. So please join us on how do you sign up for that? It’s really quite easy. You go to the WP tonic website and in the top navigation on the far, right, there’s a button that says webinar you click that and you’ll be able to sign up for the webinar and we will be emailing you closer to when we will be doing that webinar. Like to say we are going to finish off now, please go over to the WP tonic YouTube channel and watch the rest of this great interview. We will be back next week with another great guest and another great interview. We’ll see you soon folks.
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